Impressive line up for this year’s Shute Festival

Christina Lamb. Picture: Francesco Guidicin

Christina Lamb. Picture: Francesco Guidicin - Credit: Archant

Shute Festival returns this year with another impressive line up of speakers and events.

Christina Lamb's new book - Our Bodies, Their Battlefield

Christina Lamb's new book - Our Bodies, Their Battlefield - Credit: Archant

These include Sunday Times war correspondent Christina Lamb, cider-maker, poet and broadcaster James Crowden and best-selling international writer Tracy Chevalier - all with new books recently published.

The festival, now in its fifth year, will be structured differently to previous ones, which took place over a single weekend in September.

This year individual events will take place at regular intervals from May to October.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: "We hope this will make it more user friendly for our local audience and also spread the wealth of idea and culture out."

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The Festival will also include three musical events.

The highly acclaimed Lyra Vocal Ensemble from St Petersburg, will open the season with a concert of Russian Orthodox Church music and folk on May 1.

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Vocalist Polina Shepherd, who performs worldwide, will be running a Russian and Yiddish singing workshop and then performing a concert on September 19.

Bijan Omrani will end the season with a highly entertaining talk based on his new and ongoing research on Shute House.

Sam Knights, one of the directors and founders of Shute Festival, said: "We are thrilled to have such a fantastic line up of speakers again this year. It really brings something new to our locality and also brings in newcomers to our beautiful part of East Devon."

The festival has had full support from the community throughout the past five years and has attracted a number of awards and grants as well as sponsorship from local organisations and businesses.

This has allowed it to cover the expenses and fees for speakers as well as provide outreach to the local primary school in the form of workshops and after school clubs. These are being planned for 2020.

Sponsorship for this year's show has been provided by the Carew Pole Charitable Trust and Axe Vale Show.

Profits from the festival will go to Shute Primary School at St Michael's Church Shute.

For full details and for tickets go online at


Friday May 1: 7:30pm: LYRA VOCAL ENSEMBLE: Concert of Russian Church and Folk Music.

Friday May 22: 7:30 pm: SOPHY ROBERTS on The Lost Pianos of Siberia.

Saturday May 23: 7:30 pm: JAMES CROWDEN on The Frozen River - Seeking Silence in the Himalaya.

Friday June 26: 7:30pm: PETER FIENNES on Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers.

Saturday June 27: 7:30pm: ROBERT TWIGGER on Walking the Great North Line.

Friday July 17: 7:30pm: DAN GRETTON on I You We Them

Saturday July 18: 10:30am: CHRISTINA LAMB on Our Bodies, Their Battlefield.

Sunday July 19: 10:30am: JILL BUTLER: Ancient Trees in an Historic Tree-scape.

​Friday September 18: 7:30pm SUSAN OWENS on Spirit of Place: Artists, Writers, and the British Landscape.

Saturday September 19: 12-4 pm (workshop) 7.30 pm (concert): POLINA SHEPHERD: Russian and Yiddish songs 

​Friday October 23: 7:30pm TRACEY CHEVALIER on A Single Thread.

Saturday October 24: 7:30pm: BIJAN OMRANI: The Story of Shute House - Tales of the Unexpected.

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